Rt. Rev. James Nasak, the Church of Uganda Bishop of North Karamoja diocese has appealed to leaders in neighboring districts to be sympathetic to starving families from Karamoja crossing into their territory in search of food. North Karamoja diocese comprises Kotido, Abim, Kaabong, and Karenga districts.
Bishop Nasak told media on Saturday that is very saddening to notice that the leaders in districts neighboring Karamoja districts in Lango and Acholi have been chasing Karimojong women whenever they cross to their territory in search of food. He cited the recent incident where Otuke district officials evicted hungry Karimojongs who crossed to the district from Kotido in search of casual work so as to get food.
Two weeks ago, Otuke district authorities evicted 47 Karamojong women and children from Kotido who had entered the district in search of food. “It’s not their own interest to go out of Karamoja but it’s the current situation, which needs help even from the neighboring districts,” he said. Rev Nasak noted that at the height of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA activities in Northern Uganda Karamoja also hosted many neighboring families from Lango and Acholi.
Simon Ngole, a resident of Kacheri Sub County in Kotido district said not every Karimojong is a criminal. ” The problem with our brothers from the neighboring districts is that they assume that all Karimojongs are criminals forgetting that many are peace-loving people,” he said.
Timothy Konyen, another resident said it’s unfortunate that the neighboring districts dont love the Karimojong yet they are many none Karimojongs working in Karamoja. “When you look at various offices in Karamoja districts, most of them are being occupied by our brothers and sisters who are not Karimojongs and they are free. So we also expect our brothers from the neighboring districts to treat the Karimojong the same way,” he said.
Karamoja region is currently experiencing serious hunger, which has made many families flee to the neighboring districts, while others have crossed to Kenya where they are registered as refugees in Kakuma camp. Last week, Aitel Uganda donated food relief to 2,000 families mainly in Moroto district.